There is always a light

There is always a light
Don't be afraid if you are alone or surrounded by darkness. In some part of the world, the day has just begun. There is a always a light waiting for you to find your way to touch its radiance.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Buddhijibi"--The Wise One??

By Shoumik Das
Kolkata, India

I have been wondering these days....wondering about a word which perplexes me as much as it humours me. Although I am not sure as to who originally coined this particular word, yet I am sure that we are all aware of this tiny cluster of alphabets which has been made quite popular by all forms of media over the last couple of years. I am talking about the term, "Buddhijibi". It might be that I am too insignificant and ignorant a person to comment on this, but I would really appreciate if someone could help me understand the meaning of this word and "whom" we try to address by this. Most of us are not aware of how this word has sneaked into our vocabulary, but I am certain that most of us, if not all, invariably use this term whenever we are in the midst of political enlightenment.

But what exactly do we mean and whom do we refer to, when we say "Buddhijibi" ? Do we refer to our celebs or do we refer to our authors and musicians ? Do we refer to our dramatists or do we refer to our philosophers ? As far as I can remember, this word had stirred up quite a storm during the Nandigram/Singur episode in Bengal and rightly so. The influence of our "Buddhijibis" in bringing about the winds of change has been paramount and they have had an important role to play in redefining the socio-political environment of our state. But I have often wondered if it has really been appropriate to address these people as "Buddhijibis". What exactly does this term mean ? To me, it would sound like someone who is "wise" and "knowledgeable" about the topic being discussed; a person who has sufficient "expertise" and "experience" in the field in which he/she has been requested to comment. But as far as I can recollect, I have rarely seen any engineer, doctor or professional manager comment on these issues on TV or in any other form of media.

The whole issue regarding the setting up of a small-car factory at Singur has been greatly debated on television and various opinions have been placed regarding the exact land-requirements of the project, and the "majority" of the people who have presented their "expert" opinion regarding the same, either bear allegiance to some political party (left, right or centre) or hail from the field of literature or the fine arts. What surprises me most is that this is a technical question and only technical people should be consulted to provide their "relevant" opinion about this sensitive issue. But I have never seen any television interview on any of our popular (and sometimes biased) news channels involving people from a technical or scientific background. Are technical people not wise enough, or do they lack emotions ? I do not have anything personal against any profession neither do I swear allegiance to any political party - I am just an ordinary individual trying to make sense out of the comments made by our not-so-ordinary "Buddhijibis". Whenever a production unit is set up, there are a lot of parameters which have to be taken into consideration. It requires a complete analytical analysis of the supply chain and the output potential in order to determine how much land would be necessary for an auto project, and it is also not necessary that every auto-project in India would have the same requirements. It depends upon the technology being used and the business process being adopted. It is not the forte of some painter, singer, author, journalist or politician to comment on the technical requirements. But, unfortunately, so far we have only witnessed "Buddhijibis" making somewhat irresponsible statements on mass media without understanding its feasibility.

As I have already mentioned, I do not wish to offend any profession, but it is high time that we assign the right responsibilities to the right people. Celebs and people from the fine arts have done an incredible job in generating an unprecedented political awareness among the masses. This is worthy of a standing ovation and deserves the highest praise. They have provided us the courage to stand upright and vote for our own future. They have empowered us to dream that even Bengal can attain "11% GDP growth" like our "neighbours", but in the process, it appears that they have also empowered themselves to interfere and comment on almost every social and political issue. This is not desirable. I think it would be better if our brothers and sisters from the media could interview people with relevant knowledge about a particular topic, rather than selecting them purely on the basis of popularity and mass appeal.

It is very important that our social leaders have the necessary EQ, but it would really not be advisable to ignore IQ. Correct me if I am wrong......


  1. Interesting topic. Thought provoking issue.
    Is being 'Buddhijibi' really a privilege of a few or do each one of us have some, if not all elements of this trait within us? Is this good or bad, right or wrong, moral or immoral, beneficial or harmful are a few decisions that almost everyone makes on a daily basis and it does take a 'Buddhijibi' out of a man to make such decisions. However, this is the 'Buddhijibi' at the individual level. Then there are the selected, elected and nominated 'Buddhijibis'. These are the ones whose thoughts and actions impact other people, society and sometimes also the nation (although I am not sure if it has any impact on them). Hence, these 'Buddhijibis' would be deemed to be the higher species in this category. They are the ones who by definition are the representatives of the masses, better known as politicians. We often feel sour and unhappy about they manner in which the needs, dreams and aspirations of the common man is represented and dealt with by these 'higher order Buddhijibis'. However, we cannot turn our back on the choice we have made ourselves. Where has been the 'Buddhijibi' in us for all these years as we continue to hand over the 'certificate of representation' to these people few year after year. One probably doesn't need a degree in medicine, engineering or literature to be a 'Buddhijibi'. Doing the right thing at the right time, making the right choice, taking decisions that will make someone happier, being a good human being. I guess it is not that difficult to be a 'Buddhijibi'.

  2. Agree whole-heartedly.

  3. Agreed and a very nice post.

    However, on the singoor issue- Agreed that technical issues need to be discussed and technically it might have been a profitable project. But then one can't neglect "farmer sentiments". As it turns out, there is an enormous attachment farmers have towards the land they till. It is (probably)the sort of sentiment that one would feel for a house that belonged to one's family (and provided for livelihood)...for generations...
    So, for any decision -technical elements are important but so are sentiments...something even famous economists agree with.

  4. Anyone who spends most of his working hour in brainstorming to solve problems or create something new is a 'Buddhijibi'. I am not talking about so called stupids and fools. The term is relative and perhaps used to define a person with positive personality. We can't call frauds(Don't they use their brain extensively?) 'Buddhijibis'. - Swami Biswadeepanandaji.
    To correct me please connect to